Air Traffic delays hit Thomson Airways Limited
How about 13 days in Palma for 44GBP?
50 years ago, that was the price of Thomson Airways’ very first package holiday. It departed from Manchester carrying 82 people, destination Palma, Spain, for 13 sun-filled days. The package holiday business was up and running. Who wouldn’t hark back to those early days of commercial air travel for the masses; times when flight delays, cancellations and missing baggage only happened to other people.
Thomson Airways Ltd started life in 1962 trading under the name of Euravia until 1964, when it was renamed Britannia Airways. With the infant package holiday business growing apace, airlines and package groups were being founded almost as quickly. Orion Airways is one such case. Founded by the Horizon Holiday Group in 1979, it was sold and merged with Britannia Airways in 1989. In May 2005, Britannia Airways itself underwent a name change to become Thomsonfly.
On a parallel course, in 1987 Air 2000 was born. In 1998 the airline was purchased to coordinate Leisure International Airways carrier operations until, six years down the line in 2004, Leisure International became First Choice Airways. When First Choice Holidays and TUI, a German tour operator merged together in 2007, First Choice Airways was renamed to become part of Thomsonfly. It was in 2008 that the Thomson Airways brand as we know it was born out of Thomsonfly. Today, Thomson Airways is considered the largest charter airline company in the world.
An Environmentally friendly fleet
As a result of the merger, Thomson Airways now flies the world, covering destinations in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa with its fleet of 59 modern, Boeing 737, 757, 767, and 787 aircrafts. Thomson’s covers all the major tourist destinations throughout Europe such as Mainland Spain, the Balearic and Canary Islands, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Malta and Portugal.
African destinations such as Cape Verde Islands, Egypt, Mauritius and Morocco are also served. In Asia, India and Thailand and in the Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Barbados are on the list. Central and North America are also served. Further destinations can be found at on the company website. To cater for this worldwide travel service, Thomson Airways has aircraft based at 23 UK airports with London-Gatwick (LGW), Birmingham (BHX) and Manchester (MAN) being the three largest hubs. East Midlands (EMA), Newcastle (NCL) and London-Luton (LTN) follow while the remaining airports have one or two aircraft operating out of them.
Service and Quality of Service
In 2013 Thomson Airways carried over 10.5 million passengers in all sections of the air travel industry and over 6-million kilograms of freight to all corners of the world. On short haul flights snacks, soft and alcoholic drinks can be bought along with hot snacks from Thomson’s own branded ‘the eatery’ range. Of course the usual range of tax-free goods such as spirits, perfumes and tobacco are available as well. Long haul passenger comforts include a 7” television, audio and video entertainment centre and a complimentary meal. Snacks and drinks are also available. According to SKYTRAX, customers rated the airline an overall 3 out of 5 stars for economy, and a slightly better 3.5 for premium class. The main complaints revolved around poor quality of food and uncomfortable seating among the new 787 aircrafts.
It’s already a hard act to follow
With the introduction of five Boeing 787 Dreamliners to its fleet operations Thomson plan to make greater inroads into the lucrative long haul and Premium and First Class travelling business and bespoke passenger niches. With the list of awards already held by Thomson Airways they’re already a hard act to follow. Voted the most punctual summer holiday airline in 2009-2013 inclusive; World’s Best leisure airline 2010-11 and 2013, plus winner of Mercury Award 2010. With new routes being added throughout 2014 and much hype about the new Dreamliners, Thomson Airways will have to work hard to maintain its top position. The latest on-time performance statistics average around 80% for Thomson Airways, meaning that nearly 20% of all flights experience delays. The average delay time is around 13.8 minutes with 5% being an hour or more behind. While still beating out Thomas Cook and Monarch in terms of charter airlines, Thomson Airways still has room for improvement among industry standards.
Have you experienced a flight delay, cancellation or overbooking with Thomson Airways within the last 3 years? Click below to check how much you might be able to claim in compensation from the airline!